Coffee Jingle Records have provided me with a few artists to share with you over the past year or so, but I thought it would be nice to bring you something a little different. For many bands, approaching a record label is difficult ground to cross, and very few achieve the often-considered 'making it' platform of getting signed. If you're after some advice about what labels love (and hate) or you're interested in how the day-to-day running of a record label pans out, I caught with Martin of Coffee Jingle Records.
How did you come about owning a record label?
It was an idea I had when I was at Highbury College in Portsmouth where I studied Music Production, before going onto Southampton Solent University, where I finalised the idea to start a record label. And with the support of the University I researched as much as I could for about 18 months before finally going ahead with the record label.
Talk us through an average day at the office for you.
I usually check my emails 4 or 5 times a day, I also network and promote about 3 or 4 hours a day and I also record and mix/master as much as I can. It’s basically a full time job at the moment however the team is growing for next year, so I will have more manpower (or people power I should say).
Do you scout potential artists or wait for them to come to you?
At the moment our roster is full, but I still scout for potential future projects I could be a part of, but all emails from bands get read and responded to ASAP. I do rather prefer to scout out artists as seeing them live and reading up about them does give me a head start as how to work with that particular artist.
What are the best and worst things bands can do to get your attention with an interest of being signed by you?
Best thing - Have good songs, as the strongest requirement a band can have is a catalogue of good songs.
Worst thing - Show unprofessionalism in any way
What's your favorite thing about your job?
Being a part of bands and artists developing and progressing throughout their careers and contributing with them to get their songs as they want them to sound. Also doing what I have dreamed about doing for a long time is very rewarding, it’s very hard work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What's your least favorite thing about your job?
The time it takes to get releases done, however I hate rushing projects as there is nothing worse then looking back at a completed project and thinking 'if only I had spent more time on it I could have made it sound like this or this'.
How do you feel about the music industry in general at the moment? Are you excited or anxious for its current state and future?
A bit of both really, there’s no denying the industry is changing as rapid as technology is changing, and keeping up with it all is a daily challenge, which I am trying to keep up with at the moment. And for people like me who grew up listening to music in the late 80’s – early 90’s it does seem all a bit alien at times, but I have to change with the times which is both worrying and exciting. As for the state of the industry, it’s clear that the big money is in live events and touring, as CD sales are not what they once were, and regarding the future of music, it does seem to depend on what the next big technology breakout event is going to be.
What's new for the label at the moment, and what does the future hold?
Right now I am concentrating on getting more releases out there ASAP from the bands on the label, and hopefully in the future we will be working with an A and R company (who I am contacting this week) and getting our own studio equipment by the end of the year.
Finally, can you tell us a secret?
Don’t get carried away with spending thousands of pounds, make sure you have good, solid songs. Raw Power by The Stooges cost pennies and sounds like it was recorded in a sewer. Chinese Democracy costs over $12 million and is as polished as can be, and which album has gone down a classic? Songs make classic albums, not spending thousands on trying to polish them.
So there you have it, some sound advice from Martin at Coffee Jingle Records and a great insight into his label which is working hard and progressing well. Be sure to pay a visit to the label's website to check out all the artists on their roster and any upcoming events that might be happening near you.